Outrage as University of Pennsylvania Law Professor Says America Should Clampdown on ‘Elite’ Asian Immigration
Alex Hammer, Daily Mail, January 4, 2022
A tenured professor at the University of Pennsylvania has come under fire for saying that ‘the US is better off with fewer Asians and less Asian immigration.’
The controversial comment from law professor Amy Wax came in the form of a written statement after the veteran educator faced backlash for similarly xenophobic remarks in an online interview with fellow academic Glenn Loury.
Wax, 68, drew criticism for the December interview, in which the pair engaged in a conversation concerning US immigration, for comments regarding Asian-Americans and Native Americans that many deemed racist.
During her tirade, Wax appeared to be referring to Chinese immigrants in particular, citing beliefs that are at odds with American values such as democracy and liberty.
‘It’s just harder to assimilate those people or to have confidence that our way of life will continue if we bring a lot of people in who are not familiar with it. These are not original ideas on the [political] right,’ Wax told Loury, an African-American, in the December interview on the latter’s YouTube-base program, The Glenn show, which covers scholarly topics ranging from academia, journalism, and various social issues.
‘This might result in a shift in the racial profile of people who come in,’ Wax went on. ‘Obviously, we’ll have fewer people from Africa. We’ll have fewer people of some parts of Asia, and it’ll be more white – not that many white people want to come to the United States.’
During her strongly worded anti-immigration tirade, Wax honed in on the topic of South Asian elites migrating to the US – an occurrence she viewed as concerning.
‘[We] have to distinguish mass-immigration, which we’re getting from the Hispanics, south of the border, which I think poses different questions and challenges from the Asian elites that we’re getting,’ she said.
‘It doesn’t mean that the influx of Asian elites is unproblematic. I actually think it’s problematic… I think it’s because there’s this… danger of the dominance of an Asian elite in this country.
She then posited: ‘What does that mean? What is that going to mean to change the culture?
‘Does the spirit of liberty beat in their breast?’
Wax went on to say that she herself considered the spirit of liberty to be ‘people who are mistrustful of centralized concentrations of authority who have a kind of “don’t tread on me’ attitude, who are focused… on our freedoms, on our liberties, on sort of small scale personal responsibility who are non-conformist in good ways.’
The tenured teach, who has been employed by the Pennsylvania university for more than two decades, added that the idea of ‘wokeness’ is an elite ideology, and asserted that ‘Asians tend to be more conformist to whatever the dominant ethos is.’
Throughout the diatribe, Loury, an esteemed professor and economist who has had Wax as a guest on his eponymously named program, The Glenn Show, on multiple other occasions, sat patiently and respected his peer, continuing the conversation in a civil and professional matter.
Wax then continued her chauvinist charge by disparaging Native Americans as well, whom she referred to as Indians.
‘If you know anything about American Indians,’ she began, ‘you know these people were constantly at war with each other.’
‘They didn’t have guns. they had arrows, right? They had hatchets. So there was a limit to how much damage they could do.’
She continued: ‘But when they conquered other tribes and they were constantly doing that, right, they tortured them, I think, they were awful to them. They they were merciless to them.
She then controversially claimed, ‘If they had our guns in our technology, they just would have done it on a grander scale.’
Following the interview’s publishing on December 21, Loury’s listeners quickly clapped back against the conservative teach for her contentious comments.
Following the flood of criticism, Loury posted an email he received from listener George Lee, who conceded that he generally opposes undocumented immigration and typically agrees with Wax’s anti-immigration viewpoints. With that said, Lee asserted in the strongly worded letter that Wax’s latest rant left him ‘disturbed.’
‘It is a bad thing for America to bring in immigrants who oppose America’s basic values,’ Lee wrote. ‘But… race and national origin are very poor proxies for cultural values that should be kept out of America.’
Lee then detailed how Asian immigrants have made racial strides in the US, writing that they ‘pounded the pavement and hit the airwaves to help stem the tides of racial essentialism and collective judgment in proposed legislation, ballot initiatives, and elections.
‘By many accounts, Asians were key marginal contributors to some of these successes,’ he went on. ‘Asians do contribute to America’s scholarly, technological, and economic competitiveness, whose benefits we all share.’
Lee’s letter, along with numerous other online criticisms, spurred Wax to pen a public response to clarify her comments – in which she made the brazen declaration that the US would be better off without Asians.
‘In the case of Asians in the US, Wax began, ‘the overwhelming majority vote Democratic,’ Wax wrote.
She went on: ‘I find Asian support for these policies mystifying, as I fail to see how they are in Asians’ interest. We can speculate (and, yes, generalize) about Asians’ desire to please the elite.
‘As long as most Asians support Democrats and help to advance their positions, I think the United States is better off with fewer Asians and less Asian immigration,’ she then declared, spawning more online backlash in the process.
Following the law professor’s posting, Penn Law School Dean Theodore Ruger addressed the controversy in a statement to DailyMail.com Tuesday, slamming Wax’s comments ‘anti-intellectual’ and ‘racist’ in an official bulletin published by his university.
In the strongly worded statement, Ruger asserted that while ‘Wax’s speech may be protected,’ it does not ‘permit this Law School to ignore the real harms such speech causes.’
‘Wax’s views are diametrically opposed to the policies and ethos of this institution, Ruger went on. ‘They serve as a persistent and tangible reminder that racism, sexism, and xenophobia are not theoretical abstractions but are real and insidious beliefs in this country and in our building.
‘This reality sharpens and deepens our commitment to support our community as we continue to work to advance equity and inclusion.’
With hard-hitting, the law school chief’s written affirmation did not reveal whether or not Wax would be dismissed from her post as Robert Mundheim Professor of Law at the Philadelphia school.
Wax’s comments similarly drew backlash from a slew of social media users and fellow academics left outraged by her xenophobic remarks.
Current Affairs Editor Nathan Robinson tweeted, ‘University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax, who insisted she was not a racist despite praising the superiority of “European” culture, now argues that the US needs “fewer Asians” and we need to be asking “how many Asians are too many,”‘ in a sardonic post to the the social media site.
Another user wrote: ‘The most ironic part of this is that Wax complains about the decline of “bourgeois values,” but then is opposed to the immigrant group (Asians) that are knocking it out of the park when it comes to those values (academic achievement, entrepreneurship, family focus, etc).’
Writer and scholar of race relations Brando Simeo Starkey also weighed in on the controversy with his opinion on Wax, revealing that he’s ‘had the misfortune of having dinner with her in a group setting,’ and declaring that ‘she’s absolutely racist.’
Former President Donald Trump’s niece Mary Trump, 56, even chimed in, calling Wax a ‘morally and intellectually bankrupt racist.’
‘It helps explain the situation this country finds itself in that an Ivy League university allows the morally and intellectually bankrupt racist #AmyWax teach the next generation of American lawyers. There should be consequences for this kind of hateful rhetoric @pennlaw,’ the psychologist wrote.
With that said, this is not the first time Wax has faced backlash for her racist remarks.
In 2019, she came under fire for suggesting that America is better off with ‘fewer nonwhites,’ during a panel discussion at the Edmund Burke Foundation’s National Conservatism conference in Washington D.C.
Wax, a conservative whose work commonly addresses social welfare issues, asserted at the conference that ‘conservatives need a realistic approach to immigration that… preserves the United States as a Western and First World nation.’
‘We are better off if we are dominated numerically… by people from the First World, from the West,’ she went on, ‘than by people who are from less advanced countries.’
‘Europe and the first world to which the United States belongs remain mostly white for now, and the third world, although mixed, contains a lot of nonwhite people,’ Wax also stated.
‘Embracing cultural distance, cultural distance nationalism means in effect taking the position that our country will be better off with more whites and fewer nonwhites. Well, that is the result, anyway.
‘So even if our immigration philosophy is grounded firmly in cultural concerns doesn’t rely on race at all, and no matter how many times we repeat the mantra that correlation is not causation, these racial dimensions are enough to spook conservatives. As a result today we have an immigration policy driven by fear.’
The tenured professor’s comments quickly inspired a firestorm on social media and the university’s student body, who clamored to have the conservative educator axed – to no avail.
Following the flood of criticism against the university for employing such a contentious, school officials asserted at the time that the professor was free to express her opinion.
‘As a member of the faculty Professor Wax is free to express her opinions as provided in Penn’s policies protecting academic freedom and open expression,’ they said in the statement. ‘It is also the case that views of individual faculty members do not represent the views of the institution, but rather their own personal beliefs.’
The year prior, in another racially charged interview with Loury – who became the first tenured African-American professor of economics at Harvard University four decades ago in 1982 – Wax faced fallout for disparaging her black students.
‘I don’t think I’ve ever seen a black student graduate in the top quarter of the class, and rarely, rarely in the top half,’ Wax told Loury during their conversation.
After her comments, Dean Ruger announced that Wax would no longer be teaching required first-year law courses.
In an email to students and faculty published by Philadelphia Magazine, Ruger asserted that Wax spoke ‘disparagingly and inaccurately’ about the performance of black students during the interview, which was centered on her view that there is a ‘downside of affirmative action.’
As of Tuesday, Wax is still employed by the school, where’s she’s worked since 2001.